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Why Does Being Present Actually Matter?


July 23, 2012; Barcelona, SPAIN; USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski (left) talks with guard Kobe Bryant (right) during practice in preparation for the 2012 London Olympic Games at Palau Sant Jordi. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE


Presence connects us to love. We cannot love if we are not fully present. And, love is the cornerstone of leadership. It’s not about technology. It’s not about managing processes. It’s about love. We forget that humans create the technology and manage the processes. If there is no love, there is no trust or freedom. If we want to give our people responsibility we also have to give them freedom. Without trust we cannot be free. Free to take on initiatives, free to speak our opinion, and most importantly free to make mistakes. Without mistakes we cannot grow.



When we aren’t present we can only be in two other places — the future or past. In the future, our mind is occupied with worry and obsessing about things outside of our control. Usually the worst things in our life never actually play out — they only exist in our minds. The other place the past, which is usually filled with regret, guilt or shame. The past is a hard place to live. If we’re aren’t aware regret, guilt and shame can drift into becoming an internal state, which sadly dominates life. The best thing you can do for your future self, or the people you are leading, is to be present in this current moment, spending your time with intention.



When we are completely present we allow ourselves to be our most authentic selves. This is where we are vulnerable, in turn giving others the permission to do the same. People will always make excuses until you create an environment for them to be vulnerable. In this place we create trust to deepen connections with those we lead. Connect by giving them your complete attention. The eyes are the windows to the heart and soul. If we don’t connect we cannot challenge and if we don’t challenge our people they cannot grow. The innate human craving that lies deep within all of us. This is what ultimately connects someone to their leader or mentor — the leader sees their people’s growth as theirs. Their success is their own. And that cycle of growth creates deeper levels of trust.


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